Bachelor of Midwifery student Hayley Clarke has dreamed of becoming a midwife since high school but couldn’t find a pathway that suited her needs.
After a successful career in health and business administration, she has finally set her sights on her dream, starting her Bachelor of Midwifery in 2020 with Griffith University.
“As a mature age student and having completed a couple of degrees already, I had a few different priorities when I took up study again,” she says.
“Firstly, the ability to continue working was a necessity. Part of the reason for not starting the midwifery degree sooner was because other universities only offered full-time on-campus modalities, which meant I would not be able to work as well.
“Secondly, I have realised I need to know the theory behind the skills, but I need to be doing both at once, as applying the theory as I’m learning it is the best way for me to retain it.”
When she began researching midwifery, Hayley found both of her needs met in the bachelor program.
“At Griffith, we have a combination of intensive blocks on campus and online study, which was a game changer for me – I went on and applied as soon as I discovered Griffith’s course.
“Being able to complete my placement on the Sunshine Coast also helped me choose Griffith, as it means there’s no disruption to my part-time job. And completing all of my placement in the one facility really helps me consolidate my knowledge throughout the semester.”
Hayley returned to study after several years in the workforce in other healthcare roles.
“I had been a radiation therapist for five years when I was offered the opportunity to lead a regional centre. Through that role, I discovered I really enjoyed the managerial side of the role, so I undertook my Master of Business Administration,” she says.
“That lead me to project management, which I enjoyed for a short time, but I soon realised I missed the hands-on and relationship aspect that healthcare has.
Hayley has recently started her first placement at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital, which she says was exciting yet a little daunting.
“I started placement in July and have now completed a rotation in antenatal clinic,” she says.
“I was nervous to begin as I didn’t know any of the staff and didn’t know what I was doing, however the staff have been amazingly helpful and welcoming. From day one they got me hands-on with assisting throughout the review (with the woman’s consent) and teaching me as they went through their processes, explaining what they were doing, why they were doing it, and what it meant.
“Being able to actively participate in the sessions greatly influences my learning as I learn a lot quicker and understand the reasons behind things. The staff are great with all my questions and answer them in a very helpful way to build my understanding.”
Hayley credits her lecturers and peers for helping her succeed in her studies and placements, placing emphasis on building those relationships whenever she can.
“I am most impressed with the lecturers and their passion and knowledge for the job,” she says.
“They have inspired me to learn as much as I can through the course content so that I can understand what is going on during pregnancy, labour and birth, and postpartum, so I can ensure the best outcomes for the woman.
“The tutors and practice lecturers still work within the hospital setting and therefore are very up to date with what is currently happening.
“And having a group chat with other students is vital throughout the degree. There’s so much that they pick up that I don’t, and vice versa. It’s been so encouraging to have that sounding board in the group when we are unable to meet in person.
“Attending the on-campus or online sessions is so incredibly helpful to meet different students and find a group that you gel with. The degree will be a lot harder if you have to do it on your own!”
If like Hayley you have a dream of becoming a midwife, find out more about Griffith’s flexible Bachelor of Midwifery program on our website. Placements are available at Logan, Redlands, Toowoomba, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast University Hospitals and aspiring students can identify their preference of where to complete their placement during their QTAC application.